There are many things to consider when looking for a new motorcycle helmet. Obviously, safety is one of the most important concerns, because that’s the whole point of wearing a helmet in the first place. If you do not know how to tell whether a helmet is safe, you may want to check out this piece on DOT, Snell, and ECE helmet ratings explained.
During the summer months of peak riding, another important consideration is how cool the helmet is. That’s not referring to its looks or its features, although those can certainly influence your decision. No, in this instance, “cool” refers specifically to the ventilation of the helmet and how it helps to remove sweat and moisture to keep you comfortable and prevent your helmet from becoming too smelly.
How To Clean Your Helmet
No matter how well-ventilated your helmet is, you will have some build-up of moisture while you ride. It is important to clean your helmet both inside and out periodically. Otherwise, the buildup of sweat will allow bacteria to grow, making the inside of your helmet smell awful. Obviously, this diminishes your riding comfort as well as introducing a possible health hazard.
Not only must you clean your helmet, but you must also do so correctly. Harsh soaps, solvents, or window cleaners can damage the helmet, potentially compromising its structural integrity. You should use only mild soaps like baby shampoo. Don’t use just any rag to wipe your helmet, either. Instead, choose soft microfiber cloths. Any dirt particles trapped on the rag can scratch the exterior, so be sure the cloths you use are clean. If your liner is removable, you can take it out and either wash it by hand or machine wash it with a mild detergent on the delicate cycle.
To allow for proper airflow to keep your head cool and dry, you should pay particular attention to keeping the vents clean. The openings may be too small to reach with a rag, but you can use cotton swabs, an old toothbrush, or compressed air to get into the small spaces and make sure they are clear.
Most Effective Ventilated Motorcycle Helmets for Hotter Days
There is a wide selection of motorcycle helmets for sale, and many of them have vents. However, simply having vents doesn’t necessarily ensure effective ventilation. Some helmets provide better airflow than others.
- HJC RPHA 11 Pro: This helmet creates its own constant airflow with high-pressure zones at the intakes that literally suck cool air in, combined with low-pressure exhaust vents that blow hot air out.
- Klim F3: Not only does this helmet have 19 unobstructed vents, but it is also padded in such a way to provide adequate airflow around areas such as the top of your head and your ears while still providing sufficient protection in a crash.
- Biltwell Lane Splitter:There are two main points in this helmet’s favor. The first is a removable and washable Lycra lining. The second is the premium ABS material that is not only effective at resisting heat penetration but also exceptionally lightweight.
Since you will likely do most of your riding in hot weather, proper ventilation is a major concern. Motorcycle equipment dealers should be able to answer your questions and help you find a helmet that works well for you.